• 5 best tips of organizing your research and data gathering process when writing a thesis

    There are a variety of steps which are useful to follow in order to organize your research and data gathering process when writing a thesis. The 5 best tips for organizing your work are outlined below.

    1. Outline
    2. Outline all of the important points in your thesis. Break down the outline into main themes, then into several sub points for each main theme, and then two to four items for each of these sub points. Once you’ve completed this type of break-down in your outline you’ll begin to see that you’re thesis has already taken shape. Furthermore, you’ve gotten the hard part of out of the way which is organizing the main points in the thesis to make best sense. Just be sure to work through and consider the organization of your outline at each step of expansion.

    3. Keep Good Research Notes
    4. Make sure to keep notes on what each variable is in your spreadsheet or in your statistical software. It’s easy to get these mixed up. Keep a master list of how each scale was scored so that you can go back and reference it. You’ll be shocked to find that you can’t remember simple things like this toward the end of the project and will need to reference your notes again. Be sure to write down specific steps in the research as well. Most theses require the research process to be described in detail. So more detail in your notes is always better!

    5. Back Up Your Work
    6. Don’t forget – you’re the only one responsible for this document. No one is there to back you up. You need to do it yourself! If you lose your work because you haven’t backed it up you only have yourself to blame. So be sure to regularly back up your work so that you always have a saved copy to fall back on if something catastrophic happens!

    7. Make Lists
    8. Make lists of everything in relation to your research. Make a list of thing that need to be accomplished, editing to pay attention to, resources to look up, quotes to remember, the possible number of lists are endless and will really depend on your research topic.

      The most essential part of making lists is that you get to check off items once you complete them. So the more detailed your lists are the more accomplished you’ll feel as you cross things off!

    9. Work Through Systematically
    10. What’s most important about making lists is creating as many sub goals as possible. The more detailed you can make it the easier it is to work through things systematically to be sure you’re not missing any small details of what needs to get done.

      For example: You don’t want to write down “write first paragraph of thesis” on your list. Instead you’d want your list to look like the following:

    Write first paragraph of thesis

    • Integrate all important points from outline into introductory paragraph
    • Be sure to introduce why your research is important
    • Write in 3rd person
    • Go through paragraph and be sure references are in APA style
    • Edit paragraph for flow
    • Edit paragraph for punctuation
    • Edit paragraph for verb and pronoun agreement